You Weren't Always Like This
Summary: When Spirit first sees Stein after they have separated from being Meister and Weapon, he sees the scars that Stein himself has inflicted on himself. And he wonders if their path could have stayed on the same street instead of splitting at a fork in the road. Hints of SteinxSpirit. It mainly takes at the start of SE but there might be flashbacks to the past – before the series.
Chapter 1: The Past and How it Held Me from You
The first time I see him after ten years there is only a glimpse, passing in the hallway and him not seeing me. I don't get a good look at him, all I see is the wisp of silver hair and the whoosh of a white lab coat. It is enough to send my heart racing at speeds in which I can't understand and my pulse jumping from the steady thudding of calm to fighting a witch in a matter of seconds. He has always had this effect on me, a mere glance in my direction makes my face flush red and my breathing hitch.
It has never really mattered to me when he cut me open in my sleep, never frightened me in a way it should have. If anything I had wanted to rush into his presence just so he would continue to look in my direction, my way. It wasn't healthy, my reaction to not mind being cut open as long it was the silvered haired boy. It was the real reason I was reassigned to my now ex-wife. My instability of not minding Stein, who was constantly on the verge of madness's grasp, being near me made it hard to know if I would have helped him, would have followed him into madness if he was pushed over the edge. I know I would have followed him anywhere, probably still would even after all these years. I was too valuable of an asset to let me go rouge. If Stein had a different partner (and the very thought sent me into homicidal rage – Stein was my Meister and mine alone) then they could keep him into check, make sure he didn't go off the deep end into insanities' domain.
Since the day they forced us apart we haven't seen each other for ten years. This was the first time in so long I had caught even a glimpse of him.
I had heard he was fine after the separation, had moved to Germany for a long-termed mission and was getting on with his life. I was happy for him, but I still wanted to be there with him, at his side so I could protect him from everything in the world that made his eyes twitch and the crazed grin appear on his face. I wanted to be the stability he needed, the string in the stich that held him together in his moments of insanity. I wanted to be the only Weapon he wielded, the only one he needed.
However with his wavelength and his adaptable soul that could match anyone's, it was fate playing against me to be his only weapon. He had learned the ability to manipulate his soul's wavelength during our partnership, able to wrap my own in his cocoon and make me feel safe. I was able to control the wavelengths he sent, but he was able to transfigure his soul into anything he wanted. He could mold his soul into anything he desired, was able to fit like a puzzle with any other Weapon that wanted him to be their Meister.
I hadn't realized how much I held him back, for even though he was creep and a genius and no one really wanted to befriend him, he could have left the academy at any time. If he had a determined partner, one who didn't dread the thought of taking a Kishin egg's life even though it was no longer human and went so far as to throw up and try to not go onto missions for long as possible, he would have already created a Death Scythe and graduated within his first year. He had proven it as well, for as soon as our partnership had ended between us he had gotten a determined Weapon – who could turn into a hammer – that was eager to become a Death Scythe so she could get on with her life and he had finished gathering the souls needed and made her into a Death Scythe by his own hand. He had two Weapons to do it for, the female hammer and a female crossbow and when he had collected the souls needed for both he took the final exam at sixteen and eight months (it had been six months since our partnership was ended) and passed with flying colors. He then went on a mission for Germany which Lord Death had sent him on and was never seen since. The sad thing is that I only learned all of this because of the gossip of the DWMA. Stein had been moved out of my class the day the school ended our partnership and I knew nothing about what was going on in his life after that. I was completely cut off from the other half of my soul.
I had ended up with a Meister named Kami, one who had been obsessed with me for the longest of time without my knowledge. Stein had tried to preserve my innocent, naïve nature – had never let me near the female named Kami even if I had looked twice in her direction. He might have known what was going through her head, might have realized the signs that I didn't see. For a reason I had never really been able to see, Stein and Kami hated each other with all their beings.
One day when I had been left alone without Stein because he was speaking to Lord Death about a mission or something of the other, Kami had corned me and made me believe I was charmed by her. I became her friend, and even though in my core I knew I didn't love her, I thought I did. And so when the scars started showing up and she had already went to the staff about it, I could do nothing to stop her. Stein was ripped away from me and I was forced into Kami's clutches.
In my depression over losing my Meister I had gotten drunk (back then when I was drunk I was really charming) and knocked her up. I couldn't ask for an abortion – a child shouldn't be made to face their parents' mistakes – and I couldn't leave the child fatherless. So I ended up marring Kami and Maka, the light in my life, was born when I was eighteen. I tried not to think about how Maka shouldn't have green eyes like grass but green eyes like acid that constantly changed to gold. I tried not to think about that her hair shouldn't have been a dirty blonde like Kami's but a silver that glistened in the moonlight. I tried not to think how it should never have been Kami and I but Stein and I. I tried not to think about how Kami now bore the name Albarn even when she was never the person that should have worn the name.
In truth, I had never cheated on Kami. Because even though Kami was my wife, it would be Stein I felt like I was betraying. And I could never betray Stein. I had caught Kami cheating on me with a younger Weapon, I banded him from ever coming near Maka. I started flirting with women because Maka needed a mother figure more than a father. I had never loved Kami, but I had stayed with her because of the little bundle of joy named Maka. I filed for a divorce and set it up like Kami was divorcing me. I'd much rather be the bad guy in Maka's life. I was not a role she needed.
Kami and I had never loved each other. But we had loved Maka, and put this charade of love between us for her.
But now Kami is gone and Stein, the person who made my heart skip a beat and made me lose my breath with only a glance, was back. I would be damned if I let him slip through my fingers a second time.
Chapter Two: The Stiches and Screw
I had not really reacted to the new features of my once-Meister when I thought he was the nurse in the school infirmary. I hadn't even really seen them. All I could see where those once mad eyes that now held a clarity that they didn't when we were together. I could see the grin on his face, one of amusement more than insanity. I saw his face that I once saw every day, burning itself into my mind.
I did not notice the stiches, nor the screw that came out of his head when we first met.
And I defiantly didn't even think about them when he said the Demon Sword had come up, and we were to go after it. I would be able to resonate with him again, feel his mind and soul like they were my own and finally feel whole. I wanted that more than anything. It was a bonus if I looked cool in front of Maka. I wasn't worried about saving her, because I knew we would. I knew Stein wouldn't let her die, and I had no plans letting him fail.
When he held me in his hand, when his warm hands that no longer had the calluses for a scythe grasped me in his hold, it felt like I was home. I felt his mind settle into the back of my head, letting me hear his thoughts and communicate with him like I haven't in so long. I was fixed and no longer broke. I belonged for the first time in ten years.
It felt amazing.
We were back together.
And then we resonated.
And it felt like Heaven – but only for a moment.
I was sliding into his body, him sliding into the scythe and we went back and forth, both controlling the movement of each other in sync. We became one being in that moment of time, our souls clashing together to make one and for once we were the same person again, like nothing had changed in the time we were apart.
I felt for his mind, and then it was no longer Heaven. While yes, it was healthier than it had been when we were kids, while it was no longer over run with the need to dissect and a bloodthirst that never settled, it was just in as much chaos. There were so many feelings that I couldn't describe, thoughts that slipped away as soon as I grabbed them and hung onto them for dear life. It made me want to cradle him, made me want to put my arms around him and soothe his chaotic mind and reassure him I was here, that he would no longer be alone. That I would drive the madness away and let his mind be clear for just a moment.
There was no time for that though.
Time was of the essence. A Witch had shown up.
It was after the fight, after the operation, after the discussion about the black blood in Soul's body, that I brought up the screw in his head and the stiches in his skin. He had just looked at me for a moment, twisting said screw around with a click! click! click! before saying he had been in a bad place at the time.
I knew him better than that though, so I dragged him off, away from human ears and pushed him against a wall, demanding to be told the truth for once. What had made Stein, my Meister who never truly lost his cool, snap? I demanded an answer, because this was Stein we were talking about and anything to do with him was my business. I wouldn't allow it to be anyone else's.
It had taken me hours of harassing him to make him come clean about the truth behind the screw and stiches, taken me forever to learn the pain he was in for those ten years without me. It had only been a few simple words that made my world come crashing down.
"The reason I'm like this Spirit, is you."
I begged for an explanation, begged for him to talk to me and rest on my shoulder for once because even though he was younger than me, he never once told me a thing about his problems. There was no one to lean on with him, he always had to carry himself even when he didn't want to. I pleaded him to let me into his heart, his mind, his life.
I learned that the scars really were from a bad point in his life. It was the day we had been split apart, our souls thrust into another person's even though they screamed for each other. While I had fallen into depression, he had fallen into madness. He had locked himself into what used to be our old house, taking a scalpel to his skin in hopes that his soul would stop screaming in sadness. So it would stop screaming for me. He says that he doesn't really remember what happened with the screw. Only that he knew he needed something to keep the madness at bay and a saying of 'He has a screw lose' made him go into that option. He doesn't really remember the time where it took him to design the thing, nor when he made it. He was only aware of putting it in, smashing it through his brain to make the haze of red top. He had no idea what he was doing, only that he was trying to stop his madness and if it didn't work, he would die.
It was a miracle he didn't.
Chapter Three: He's Mine, Witch!
I saw her creep over to him, saw the way she seemed to seduce him. She used sweet words that caught his attention, his eyes only on her. His hand was on her back, making me infuriated to think he would ever touch her. Her claws dug into his shoulder, drawing him closer to her body and all I could think was:
Don't you dare touch what is mine.
Meisters, while more possessive than Weapons, were not the only possessive person in the partnership. While Weapons were picked up fast, Meisters where just as hard to find. Some Weapons would request to be switched with one another – and usually they went through if they had a good reason. The fact that your Meister could be taken away in a moment's notice didn't sit well with most Weapons, therefore making us more territorial. And right now there was a susceptive Witch trying to make a move on my Meister. Trying to draw him, the one person most influenced by madness-wavelengths, closer to the very thing that called him every day he's been alive.
In our fight with her, I thought I would have lost him.
I did for a second – he was lost and I couldn't reach him.
I still can't.
I just decided to put this all into one chapter – sorry its not put into threes. I might add more to it later on, when I find a scene that I like and want to see it from Spirits Point of View, but for now this is all I have. I hope you've enjoyed.